2000-12-15 Hidden Noise Collective, Dallas, TX

This was a strange and wonderful night. The Hidden Noise Collective was a warehouse a bit west of the Gypsy Tea Room. To get in, you had to go down a graffitti-encrusted alley, and around the back. When I rounded the corner, there was a guy chopping wood with a big ol’ axe. That was pretty freaky. But after some confusion and frustration, all five of us found our way into the giant space that we would sonically sculpt until nearly dawn.

The room was fairly dark, mostly lit by strands of coloured lights scattered here and there. It was very cold, since it was December and there was no climate control.

For this gig, we relied on our individual amps, and used Terry’s mono PA rig for vocals. It was perched atop a rickety scaffold draped with lights.

We had absolutely no setlist; we went wherever the music took us. It was probably the most “out” gig we ever played.

The set opens up with one of our best improvised jams ever, a long relaxed and slowly-evolving soundscape, which eventually morphs into a well-jammed-out version of Psychogenic Reaction. Kurt announces the concept of the PUniverse, and that one of the ceiling tiles overhead is the gateway into it. Psychogenic Reaction ends with an ambient jam that terminates in the “ka-thump” sound symbolic of one’s head hitting a photocopier, then the ground, just like on the studio album. Strangely enough, this leads into a quick Jailhouse Rock tease.

Cliff teases The Creator Has a Master Plan in the jam between Move and Sqrahd.

During the Spread / Rio / Nug sequence, a winged woman materialized in front of us, doing a wonderful fluid dance with a brightly-coloured streamer-on-a-stick. We dubbed her the Rainbow Dragon Lady. Her energy is reflected in the music we made to accompany her.

There’s a gas hose solo near the end of Nug; listen closely and you’ll hear Cliff remind you to surrender to the flow. From this ambient breakdown, a new and unique improvised jam emerges.

(Second set description coming soon.)

Around 3:00 a.m., Kyle left because he had to get up early the next day. At that point, many other musicians took up instruments and joined in the merriment. Larry had played at Club Dada earlier that night, and several of them participated in a continuously-evolving jam that lasted until 4:30 a.m. I can’t really explain the music we made in that hour and a half; you really have to experience it for yourself. Suffice it to say that I consider it a profoundly beautiful expression of the human spirit.